And kicking things off in that respect, perhaps unintentionally, is Xiaomi which has just launched its new mi 5s and mi 5s Plus phones in China.
What does that have to do with Apple’s next handset? Well, both the phones use an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner which is built-into the glass on the front of the phones.
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There have been widespread rumours that Apple will be moving to an all-glass front design on next year’s iPhone, which means the company would have to build the fingerprint reader into the glass.
As such, if the iPhone 8 rumours are true, Xiaomi has seemingly beaten Apple to the punch on this one, providing us with a demonstration of how the next iPhone’s Touch ID system could work.
In fact, we’ve even got a video of the technology in action (around the 1:25 mark), as pointed out by 9to5Mac.
The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner should be more accurate than the current capacitive sensor used by the iPhone 7.
In Xiaomi’s case, the phone’s front panel features an indent so users can identify where the scanner sits.
Interestingly, the Chinese firm has opted to put the reader in the navigation bar below the actual screen, whereas
The iPhone 7 introduced a new home button which responds to the force of your touch, rather than a physical, clickable offering.
If Apple decides to go the all-glass route on the iPhone 8 then, an ultrasonic fingerprint reader wouldn’t be all that novel a design change.
Of course, there’s no way to tell at this point just what the company has in-store, but Xiaomi is known for replicating iPhone and Samsung handsets, so this could very well be a case of the Chinese firm getting its version of the tech out before Apple.
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Let us know what you think of Xiaomi’s design and whether it would work well on the next iPhone in the comments.